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The Solstice Edition

The Winter Solstice is an event that occurs when the Sun appears to reach its most northerly excursion relative to the celestial equator on the celestial sphere. In the Northern Hemisphere, this event occurs on December 21, the day the sun is at its lowest point.

December 25 is the day the sun begins to take a higher path in the sky.

We wish everyone many merry and bright days this holiday season!

Many Indigenous people are actively working toward reconnecting to their original teachings while also decolonizing colonial practices that have conditioned their lives. On this episode, they talk decolonizing the holidays and reconnecting to more meaningful Indigenous winter solstice teachings. Featured Guests: Dr. PennElys Droz (Anishinaabe/Wyandot) and Ella Robertson (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota)

Vole Patrol now has a fearless Leader

And her name is Diane Morin !

Are you interested in working with Diane on Vole Patrol? Please send an email to

This is not a committee, more of a research team. Diane needs your help to investigate strategies for the 2022 growing season.

Please complete this quick VOLE survey. Send your response to Put “Voles” in the subject line.

On a scale of 1-10 (10 being “extreme”) how much damage did the voles do to your garden this year?

When did you first notice vole activity?

Were any of your plants untouched by the voles?

Did you respond to the vole activity by erecting barriers? By adding malodorous plants? Did anything work?

Have you done any research on vole management?

Have you any strategies in mind for 2022?

Please note, construction is over so access to Goldenrod Driveway west from Parkdale Avenue is open again.

Visioning Update

Update from our Board president, Sara Chen-Wing:

With the snow blanketing my garlic bulbs and soil, there is no sowing or harvesting to do this season. It's time to plan for our next season!

Since the AGM, the board has met virtually every two weeks. We are getting our virtual workspace set-up and you will notice we have a new email address now (

With the support of the Membership committee, we hosted a visioning event on November 30th and a visioning survey. Approximately 20 people attended the event. Participants got to know each other a bit, and shared ideas in small groups on what they envision Goldenrod could be. The event was attended by two representatives from Somerset West Community Health Centre, one of our partners.

Next, the board is turning it's focus to strategic planning and submitting a proposal to the Just Food Community Garden Development Fund for money to complete our Build Phase 2, which could add about 40 new plots and a pollinator garden.

Membership survey results

Thank you to everyone who completed the membership survey we conducted this fall, designed by our membership and events committee. 50 members responded. Here are the highlights:

  • 96% found the plot fee was fair

  • 42% are volunteering with GCG

  • 92% of respondents plan to renew their membership next year: and

  • 94% are interested in participating in garden events that are educational (98%) or social and garden related (77%). A few people volunteered to lead an educational event. *We hope to follow up with you soon, we just need some more volunteers on the Events Committee first!

Why did our members get involved? 50% or more said:

  • Ability to grow my own food

  • Get involved in community

  • Develop new skills/hobbies

  • Meet members of community

Top benefits of being a member/friend of GCG:

  • Mental health [74%]

  • Knowledge [55%]

  • Exercise [47%]

Everyone had had least parts of their garden that grew well. Features appreciated include:

  • Helpful tips, learning from others, friendly people

  • Water access, raised beds, soil quality, access to mulch;

  • Garden location and setting (incredible and heavenly), organic nature of the garden;

  • Garden layout and access to the garden and plots;

  • Weekly opportunity to donate to the food bank;

  • Community feel; and

  • Respectful gardeners.

What are the challenges you have found gardening at this location?

  • Pests eating things: voles, rodents, “Snails tried to infiltrate my plot”;

  • Sampling of produce by wildlife and critters: rabbits, squirrels, rats, field mice;

  • Geese, groundhogs, and other critters;

  • Mildew, fungus/blight;

  • Access (past all the construction, e-waste day, parking);

  • Inconsistent water supply / keeping the garden watered;

  • Weak water pressure: takes a LONG time to fill watering cans;

  • Several had plot neighbour's plants interfere with their own;

  • Too many rules that don't make sense;

  • Spacing and selecting the right things to grow within the space;

  • Lack of weed trimming between beds.

Call for Volunteers

Pollinator Garden

Call for volunteers: We are looking to build a team to plan for and build a pollinator garden within the Goldenrod Community Garden space this coming spring. No experience is required. If this is of interest to you, please send an email to Put “Pollinator Garden” in the subject line.


The Events Committee is looking for volunteers to help plan and put on events for next year. If you would like to assist in planning and organizing learning, social and community events please email to let us know! No experience in event management necessary. Put “Events” in the subject line.

Committee name change:

Please note that the Build Committee is now called Properties and will include both Build and Maintenance volunteers going forward.

Garden sharing initiative in Kitchissippi

Westboro Beach Community Association has launched a "garden sharing" initiative in Westboro Beach Community. It's a different concept than a community garden but the spirit is still there. Essentially, two private individuals come to an agreement on sharing a yard / garden for the purposes of vegetable gardening or other kinds of gardening. For more information, please click the link is below.

Helpful Links

Our website is

Follow Goldenrod Community Garden on Twitter! And Instagram !


Greetings fellow gardeners!

Vole Patrol

Goldenrod has a vole infestation of (arguably) biblical proportions. Perhaps you have noticed? We are looking for a Volunteer to offer guidance on how to manage/outfox this furry varmint. We need someone to gather info then disseminate it back to members, probably via this Newsletter. Please email if you are willing and able to accept this important assignment. This is not a committee thing, you do not have to go to meetings. This is Vole Patrol.


After a wonderful first year of growing at the Goldenrod Community Garden we need your help to continue to grow! We have developed two visioning activities to help the GCG develop the garden further over the coming years: an online event NOV30 at 7pm and via a questionnaire. We are looking for your input, ideas and help so please check out the NOV16 email in your inbox.

Goldenrod Community Garden Plot Waitlist 2022 - ALERT

As you know, in September we were locked out of our Google docs accounts and had to start rebuilding that list from scratch.

Anyone who was on that list must sign up again.

Please go to Goldenrod Garden’s homepage and click the link for Plot Waitlist 2022. Names will be chosen by lottery.

Garden Sharing initiative in Kitchissippi

Westboro Beach Community Association has launched a "garden sharing" initiative in Westboro Beach Community. It's different concept than a community garden, but the spirit is still there. Essentially, two private individuals come to an agreement on sharing a yard / garden for the purposes of vegetable gardening or other kinds of gardening. For more information, please click the link below.

A note from our President, Sara Chen-Wing

On November 8th, representatives from the NCC, our landholder, came to visit the garden for a tour and to discuss any concerns. They commended us for building such a fine looking garden and they are very pleased with the design. Well done interim board and build committee! If we can keep the garden looking tidy, there is an excellent chance our lease will be renewed beyond April 2022. Thank you to all members for taking your trash home and keep your plots tidy.

Your Board is delighted to announce that Carmela Grande has taken on the position of Secretary.

Committee name change:

Please note that Membership Engagement is now called Events


The Events Committee is looking for volunteers to help plan and put on events for next years Community Garden. If you would like to assist in planning and organizing learning, social and community events please email to let us know! No experience in event management necessary.


Updated: Nov 24, 2021

Greetings fellow gardeners!

As our first season winds down, Goldenrod is evolving. Your Board is new, Goldenrod is young. Everyone is trying to figure things out and the Board needs to hear from you, our members, in order to set priorities.

Please complete the membership survey

The survey will help guide the new Board. Many thanks to all those members who have completed it! If you haven’t, we’d appreciate your input.

Please do get rid of the tall gangly apparatus and plants in your plot as soon as possible. Those tomatoes plants…and the ground cherry plants…and the tall stakes…Yikes!

We lost all the names on the Plot Waitlist for 2022. Please sign-up again

We don’t have the waiting list of people who signed up for a 2022 plot because it was lost with the google account so we have to start collecting names again. **Plot members don’t need to sign up again as they will have the option to renew their plot automatically.**


If you missed the AGM, you can find the draft minutes and slides posted on Goldenrod’s website,

Meet your new Board of Directors

  • President: Sara Chen-Wing

  • Secretary: TBA

  • Treasurer: Tanya Salewski (with Martin Conley-Wood as apprentice treasurer)

  • Registrar: Barbara Sharp

  • Garden Coordinators: Matt Doody, Susan McClelland

  • Membership engagement lead: Matt in interim capacity, but prepared to hand over to another board member.

  • Communications lead: Catherine O’Toole

  • Fundraising lead: Catherine O’Toole

  • Build leads: Barbara Sharp, Martin Conley-Wood, with Dietrich Sider remaining as chair of the Build Committee

  • position TBA: Carmela Grande

Sara Chen-Wing

I love gardening. I have fond memories of my grandmother's lush garden of vegetables, flower, annuals, perennials. In turn, my mother created a huge garden that produced all sorts of treasures. I was delighted to find the GCG this past winter where I have been volunteering ever since with the communications committee, the membership committee, and the interim board. I am pleased to have the opportunity to continue to build and grow our garden community in a way that will nourish us all.

Martin Conley-Wood

I’m a local business owner and a very enthusiastic if only modestly successful gardener. You may have spotted me at the garden this season with my assistants: a goldendoodle tethered to my waist and a toddler poking his hands in the soil as I wrangled some unruly pea shoots. I’m passionate about food security and the role that community gardens play in empowering people to feed themselves and their neighbours. I have worked and volunteered in many different spaces, from pruning other people’s gardens to building tech startups to managing large projects in the public sector. I’m honoured to offer my depth and diversity of experience to the Goldenrod community as we continue to grow together.

Catherine O'Toole

I am a writer and businesswoman living in Ottawa. A volunteer with Goldenrod Community Garden since February 2021, I work with two committees: Fundraising and Communications. I became the primary content creator of the Goldenrod newsletter and I helped facilitate weekly harvest donations to the Parkdale Food Centre.

Tanya Salewski

I have been an avid gardener since helping my Dad plant potatoes when I was barely old enough to walk, and strongly believe in the power of getting your hands dirty and growing your own food – for the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities, and the planet. Back in January I got involved with the GCG interim board as the Treasurer, where I set up financial processes and practices and managed all financial transactions and reporting. In my professional life, I work for Alinea International, an international development consulting company, as a Project Director for global health. I recently spent four years with Alinea in Tanzania managing the implementation of a multi-million dollar maternal and child health program, which included overseeing all aspects of budgeting, financial management, compliance, and reporting. Previously I have led global health and development teams, programs and projects for more than 20 years, working with a number of Canadian NGOs and the UN in Canada and internationally.

Barbara Sharp

I grew up in the UK and moved to Ottawa 20 years ago. As a child, the local allotment gardens formed a key part of our lives and community, so I'm really excited to be part of developing a community garden here in Ottawa. When I'm not gardening, I enjoy biking and cross-country skiing on the local bike paths or in the Gatineau hills.

Matt Doody

Matthew is an Ottawa native who works in Public Health. With a passion for community engagement and food security he looks forward to working with the GCG volunteers and members to continue to grow and improve the garden. He brings experience in volunteer coordination and public communications to the team and looks forward to using those skills to support the board and the garden as a whole.

Susan McClelland

I am currently a second-year student in the Horticulture Industries program at Algonquin College. Prior to returning to school, I worked in the federal government for over 30 years. During the last 10 years of my career, I focused on climate change and sustainability issues. As an avid gardener, I have become increasingly interested in growing food and ornamental plants using practices that enhance the urban environment and local biodiversity. This past summer, I worked on a local flower farm and saw first-hand how to grow edible and ornamental flowers, using natural and organic approaches to cultivation, fertilizing and pest management.

I have a BA from Carleton University and an MA from Queens. I have volunteered at a number of organizations in the Ottawa area over the years, including the Elizabeth Fry Society, the Ottawa Rape Crisis Centre and Girl Guides. I am currently a volunteer with MapleLawn, an historical garden in Westboro. In addition to gardening, I enjoy cross-county skiing, card-making and reading.

And, Carmela Grande


Become a Friend of the Goldenrod Community Garden

Anyone can become a Friend; you don’t have to have a plot or even live in Kitchissippi. Please find more information here.

Helpful Links

If you are a Goldenrod member and want to join the Members Facebook Group, please send a message to We will then send you an invitation to join the group.

Our website is

Follow Goldenrod Community Garden on Twitter! And Instagram!

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